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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Preview New tMapper Version


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You can now preview the new version of tMapper.  tMapper converts Western Front trench map references to modern locations and works on a PC, tablet or phone browser with internet connection.


The new version has been rebuilt with modern web technology and is what is called a 'Single Page Application'.  This means that for every conversion, the original reference, overlay trench map, modern map and Street View stay on the same page instead of having to fill in web forms and navigate the web site back and forth to make new conversions or swap from map to map.  Here is an example:



tMapper now overlays 282 trench maps with the written permission of the National Library of Scotland and these can be individually selected or automatically chosen as part of a conversion or trench name search.  An opacity slider hides / reveals the overlay and for each conversion, buttons link to the NLS itself, McMaster University downloadable trench maps and to full screen Street View.  Trench Name search locates 6,000 trenches and the GuideMe wizard assists newer users convert locations.  It ships with almost 300 georeferenced points and bulk conversions can stipulate icon colours (eg German positions in red and Allied blue or vice versa).



The conversion algorithm hasn't changed but coverage has been increased to most areas between Zeebrugge and Reims.  A downloadable Preview Guide is attached and covers all features.  The URL is preview.tmapper.com.  The Preview Guide is:

tMapper tMapper Preview.pdf


It has been extensively tested over the last 6 months but remains in preview while some functionality is added and a number of issues ironed out.  These are fully disclosed via the relevant toolbar icon.


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Excellent WSL, I'm looking forward to having a go.



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Thank you for the excellent site.  Time to get back to some research.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Superb. I spent a long while trying to find the location of some trenches which my grandfather took recce photos of in late 1915, and this was a god send in finally nailing down the locations.  I had just 3 photos of what muct have been hundreds that he took. I guess he ended up with them because they were slightly out of focus or fogged and useless for detailed intel. The links through to the trench map sources on tMapper are gold dust!


FWIW, this is a spot I have spent a long time looking for:


...in an effort to understand better my grandfather's war experiences. It seems he was photographing the aftermath of the diversionary attacks for the Battle of Loos. It's the same spot that was the flank of the disastrous diversionary attacks on Fromelle which took place a few months after the photos.


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Newly Added Functionality to preview.tmapper.com:

  1. Search results presented in display list.
  2. Forward conversion.
  3. Distance and Bearing.

Search has been overhauled to display selections in an easily selectable list.  In this example we are searching on axe.  A few of the trenches, such as Syntaxe Trench span several grids:



Forward conversion lets you position the centre circle on a location and ask what the trench map reference is.  In this example, Maison Gabe (circled) is seen to be Sheet 36b.R.12.c.8.4.



Distance and bearing lets you select up to 7 locations and see how far apart each one is.  In this example we first imported almost 650 surveyed points:



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  • 3 weeks later...

The last of the newly added preview functionality for 2019 is the ability to overlay KML files.  KML is a widely used mapping format, originally associated with Google Earth.  If you are a researcher with a list of WW1 latitude and longitudes that you are happy to go on a public web site, just let us know.


Adding 17,000 points to Northern France and Flanders can clutter your map a little bit and slow it down a lot, so read the hints and tips at the bottom of this post to get the best out of it.


In this example, Sheet 36c.S.22.a.08.51, near the Vimy Memorial displays overlays of CWGC cemeteries, VC recipients and the Gazetteer of the Western Front, with Street View showing trench remnants.



Select the KML overlays from the list:



To avoid clutter, don't choose too many and make sure the base map forms an easy-to-read background.  'Satellite Imagery from Mapbox' is great for zooming in and to zoom out and get the full impact of every CWGC war cemetery in the area tMapper covers, select Carto DB Dark and click on the 'E' for full extent.  The impact of plotting over 1,600 cemeteries is sobering:



Sources for the non-original data are from 'KML files for the WW1 Centenary Project' and all lists were downloaded with a Creative Commons License.

  • CWGC war cemeteries with latitude, longitude and cemetery name;
  • Wikipedia (list of major battles); and
  • List of places in WW1 leading to the award of a Victoria Cross.

John Reed's kind permission for his Gazetteer of the Western Front data has been cited previously.

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  • 1 month later...

We are almost ready to take tMapper out of preview.  Well over 10,000 conversions have been made and no anomalies reported or detected (within the bounds of its stated accuracy). Significant additions to the preview version are:


  • Search by Locality or Feature.  Ie searching on the term Ypres will find a street, trench and the town itself.


  • Export conversions to Excel or as a KML file for Google Maps / Google Earth import.


  • Single map click from a road for a Street View Preview - useful when a feature is not on a road so not automatically covered by Google imagery.  Find a nearby road with a view not obscured by trees and click once, then use the keyboard to pan until you see an image.  In this example, Messines mines Kruisstraat 2 and 4 are off the road but a click on Wulvergemstraat shows that they can still be viewed.



Edited by WhiteStarLine
Removed personal data from screenshot
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  • 10 months later...

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